Pic on the top (Before Vegan): I was 46 and 138 lbs, married to a Kansas meat and potatoes/ BBQ & meat smoking expert- my favorite meat was rib eye steaks and boneless pork ribs.
Medical status was overweight, high BP and elevated cholesterol levels and Vitamin D deficiency, hypothyroid condition that required daily medication. Gave up red meat when someone very close to me died of colon cancer at 50. I went into a healthy lifestyle regimen that included vegetarian eating and running for exercise. After my friend’s death, I wanted to live on with the selfless love I had given to him in the final stages of his life- it was Veganism- gave up all animal products and vowed to kindness and giving for its own sake. After loosing a loved one to colon cancer I nagged and badgered my ex to get tested given that his history put him at high risk. He eventually got a colonoscopy only to find confirmed stage two: cancer! So my Vegan journey began. Favorite foods: big beefy and exotic everything-but-the-kitchen-sink salads, Thai Green papaya salad, coconut rice and vegetable curry, Japanese veggie hand rolls, grilled portobello mushroom sandwiches.

Picture on the bottom (After Vegan): age 50, 106 lbs, normal cholesterol, normal BP, normal vitamins and minerals, reduced dosage of Thyroid supplement. Exercise regimen includes yoga, running, swimming and rest 2 days per week.

David Starr was my source of support and information initially. The personal story is actually much more profound but I wouldn’t use it a Vegan advocacy sales pitch- I was compelled to leave my marriage of 20 years to be with the dying man who was my soul mate since I was 10. Had not seen him for almost 18 years when I found out he was terminal. We had three magical months inching toward seven more before he died in my arms. So you see taking care of this body was a sacred commitment. And a tribute to him.

That’s the real story.

-Claudia Ginsberg